Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Buddy Bolden is a legend: an entwined with mythical figure from the early days of jazz, probably the first jazz cornet player at all; a man of whose pioneering work, there is no single audio document. Drummer Jerry Granelli was inspired by a novel about the possessed, insane dead man from New Orleans ("Coming Through Slaughter" by Michael Ondaatje) inspiration for this album. The musicians squad is exquisite and Wayne Horvitz contributed two compositions at. Granelli's team proposes an atmospheric arc from the New Orleans shuffle groove on Charlie Parker and Johnny Hodges up to Ornette Coleman. Right in the middle, Ford and Frisell make a magical slow-motion version of "I Put A Spell On You". An idiosyncratic reference that continues to spin the flair of mystery in the jazzy Present Time.
Down Beat (5/93, p.46) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good Plus - "...one provocative package..."
JazzTimes (8/93, p.65) - "...[A SONG I THOUGHT I HEARD BUDDY SING] is remarkable as a vehicle that is rooted in the jazz tradition while at the cutting edge of innovative possibilities..."
Audio Magazine (2/94, p.86) - "...Though concept pieces are more often than not doomed, this one paints a portrait nearly as powerful as the Romare Bearden painting used on the CD cover. Guided by Granelli's constantly shifting rhythms...guitarists Bill Frisell and Robben Ford weave otherworldly textures with their searing blues lines...."
Personnel: Jerry Granelli (drums, bass), Denny Goodhew (soprano saxophone), Kenny Garrett (alto saxophone), Julian Priester (trombone), Bill Frisell (guitar, banjo), Robben Ford (guitar), Anthony Cox (bass).
Recorded at London Bridge Studio, Seattle, Washington in January and February, 1992.
A SONG I THOUGHT I HEARD BUDDY SING is the title of an old song by Bunk Johnson. The CD booklet features excerpts from Michael Ondaatje's novel, "Coming Through Slaughter," about the life of the legendary New Orleans horn player, Buddy Bolden.
Tributee: Buddy Bolden.
Personnel: Jerry Granelli (drums); Julian Priester (trombone); Kenny Garrett (alto saxophone); Robben Ford (guitar); Bill Frisell (guitar, banjo).
Audio Mixers: James Farber; Mark Slagle.
Recording information: London Bridge Studio, Seattle (01/1992-02/1992).
Drummer Jerry Granelli offers a wide-ranging amalgam of styles and sounds on this 1993 date. The life of legendary (but unrecorded) jazz trumpeter Buddy Bolden is aurally covered through a ten-track, four-part set that sequences songs according to movements; Bolden's world, journey, memories, and an epilogue are the settings, with an interesting lineup that includes torrid alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, Bill Frisell playing banjo as well as guitar, trombonist Julian Priester, guitarist Robben Ford, and bassist Anthony Cox. It is not strictly traditional New Orleans jazz nor merely reflective or commemorative fare, but an aggressive musical commentary on the Bolden legend. ~ Ron Wynn